Contributing to the WordPress Photo Directory

Scfreenshot of the WordPress Photo Directory's home page

Writing Open Source software is bit of a weird proposition. You spend time and effort creating something useful, and when you’re done, you give it away. Literally anyone can then use your code, for free. Yet this is how some truly wonderful software has been created. Such as WordPress. It works. And now you can do it with your photos too.

The WordPress Photo Directory

For its code, WordPress uses the GPL license. Any code you submit is added under this license, and themes and plugins are required to also use this license. It’s almost the opposite of copyright, and is sometimes referred to as “copy-left”.

The Photo Directory uses an equally permissive Creative Commons license, called “CC0“. This places your work in the public domain, and allows anyone you use your image, for any purpose. Even attribution is not required (although it is encouraged).


This image of my cat was the 5000th image accepted into the Photo Directory

Contributing to the Photo Directory is pretty straightforward.

  • You’ll need a account
  • Once logged in, go to
  • Select the photograph you wist to submit
  • There are a number of checkboxes that you’ll need to check, please read the requirements carefully
  • Send the form (this can take a little while)
  • Wait for the photo to be approved, you’ll be notified by e-mail.


There’s some confusion about the relationship between the Photo Directory and another new WordPress project, Openverse. In short, Openverse is a search engine that indexes Creative Commons licensed content from a number of sources. One of those sources it the WordPress Photo Directory.

Images you submit to the Photo Directory will therefore show up in Openverse search results.

It’s better to give than to receive

I’ve contributed to WordPress in a number of ways, and it feels really good to be able to give something back to such a wonderful project. Giving away some of my photos feels similar. I hope people find them useful, and can’t wait to see them “in the wild”. If you love something, set it free.

Roy Tanck
I'm a freelance WordPress developer, designer, consultant, meetup organizer and speaker. In my spare time I love to go out and take pictures of things.